Wednesday, 03 November 2010 10:07
Who do you want to see play Lee Child's Jack Reacher in the movie version?
We actually may be getting closer to the day that we see Lee Child's Jack Reacher character make it to the screen.
altAccording to the Hollywood Reporter and a couple of other sources, Christopher McQuarrie has been tapped to rework an existing script for the Paramount thriller One Shot and to become its director.
McQuarrie won an Oscar for writing The Usual Suspects and co-wrote the upcoming Johnny Depp-Angelina Jolie thriller The Tourist. The first and last time he directed was the 2000 The Way of the Gun.
One Shot, the ninth book in the series, is about a military sniper accused of murder who seeks Reacher's help.
Now that the script and the director are set, can the casting be far behind? Who to play Jack Reacher, the former military cop turned drifter? I think it has to be an unknown or a TV actor who can carry a movie.
Like I said, Who do you want to see play Lee Child's Jack Reacher in the movie version?
Photo by Sigrid Estrada
Jack Reacher, the Movie Version
Oline Cogdill
jack-reacher-the-movie-version
Who do you want to see play Lee Child's Jack Reacher in the movie version?
We actually may be getting closer to the day that we see Lee Child's Jack Reacher character make it to the screen.
altAccording to the Hollywood Reporter and a couple of other sources, Christopher McQuarrie has been tapped to rework an existing script for the Paramount thriller One Shot and to become its director.
McQuarrie won an Oscar for writing The Usual Suspects and co-wrote the upcoming Johnny Depp-Angelina Jolie thriller The Tourist. The first and last time he directed was the 2000 The Way of the Gun.
One Shot, the ninth book in the series, is about a military sniper accused of murder who seeks Reacher's help.
Now that the script and the director are set, can the casting be far behind? Who to play Jack Reacher, the former military cop turned drifter? I think it has to be an unknown or a TV actor who can carry a movie.
Like I said, Who do you want to see play Lee Child's Jack Reacher in the movie version?
Photo by Sigrid Estrada
Saturday, 30 October 2010 22:33

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Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander. Image Courtesy of Music Box Photo.

If Stieg Larsson had lived, who knows which direction his novels about punk hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist would take.

Certainly the late Swedish author left a magnificent legacy in his three novels, which have been re-created, as faithfully as possible, in three outstanding movies.

The film version of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, directed by Daniel Alfredson, has just been released in American movie houses.

It also follows the standards set by the other movies in this series—taking a brilliant, yet flabby novel, paring it down to a tight, brisk-paced film that captures the nuances and spirit of Larsson’s trilogy.

It's not often that the movie version is equal to, or in some cases, better than the novels. But each of the movies has achieved this. Mainly because each of Larsson's novels could have used a good editor. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is 576 pages; it would have been a stronger novel it had been 450 pages.

At 2 hours, 28 minutes, the film The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is still a bit long, but the plot holds up so well that it moves briskly, even with English subtitles.

The movies work mainly because the superb performances by the leads—Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander and Michael Nyqvist as Mikael Blomkvist. The chemistry is no less charged in The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest even thought the two share little screen time and Lisbeth is confined to her hospital room for a good portion.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest picks up immediately after The Girl Who Played With Fire. Lisbeth is being whisked via a helicopter to a hospital after being shot in the head by her father, Alexander Zalachenko (Georgi Staykov), a former Soviet spy turned sex trafficker with powerful friends in the upper echelons of Swedish government. Lisbeth seriously wounded, but didn't kill, Zalachenko with an axe.

As Blomkvist tries to find proof of a government conspiracy that sent Salander to a psychiatric hospital when she was 12 to cover up Zalachenko's existence, those in power try to have Lisbeth put away for good or, killed. They also want to stop Blomkvist and his team of journalists. Too many movers and shakers would be harmed if proof ever leaked of their trafficking in girls. Blomkvist has to find the evidence as Lisbeth is put on trial for attempted murder.

Meanwhile, the homicidal Niedermann (Micke Spreitz), Salander's half-brother, is on a killing spree.

Rapace continues her excellent performance. In the hospital cell, sans the usual swaddling of punk, black clothing, chains and spikes draped and impossibly high platform boots, Rapace shows Lisbeth's vulnerability and intelligence. But Rapace delivers Lisbeth's fierceness and her rage when she puts on that punk armor for the courtroom scenes. Lisbeth is in high Dragon girl mode, ready to do battle against evil. Once again, she's a solider fighting against men who harm women and this is her uniform.

Larsson had planned The Girl With as a series of 10 novels. Meanwhile, we'll have to settle for the three brilliant novels and the movies that capture their spirit.

I'm trying to ignore the fact that these movies will be refilmed with Hollywood actors.

As for the novels, they continue to have a life of their own. On November 26, Knopf will publish a boxed set of Larsson's three hardover novels and a nonfiction book called On Stieg Larsson that is a new volumne of correspondence with the author and essays about his work.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest: Rated R; Run time 148 minutes. In Swedish with English subtitles.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest 3 Stars
Oline Cogdill
the-girl-who-kicked-the-hornets-nest

alt

Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander. Image Couertesy of Music Box Photo.

If Stieg Larsson had lived, who knows which direction his novels about punk hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist would take.

Certainly the late Swedish author left a magnificent legacy in his three novels, which have been recreated, as faithfully as possible, in three outstanding movies.

The film version of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, directed by Daniel Alfredson, has just been released in American movie houses.

It also follows the standards set by the other movies in this series—taking a brilliant, yet flabby novel, paring it down to a tight, brisk-paced film that captures the nuances and spirit of Larsson’s trilogy.

It's not often that the movie version is equal to, or in some cases, better than the novels. But each of the movies has achieved this. Mainly because each of Larsson's novels could have used a good editor. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is 576 pages; it would have been a stronger novel it had been 450 pages.

At 2 hours, 28 minutes, the film The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is still a bit long, but the plot holds up so well that it moves briskly, even with English subtitles.

The movies work mainly because the superb performances by the leads—Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander and Michael Nyqvist as Mikael Blomkvist. The chemistry is no less charged in The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest even thought the two share little screen time and Lisbeth is confined to her hospital room for a good portion.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest picks up immediately after The Girl Who Played With Fire. Lisbeth is being whisked via a helicopter to a hospital after being shot in the head by her father, Alexander Zalachenko (Georgi Staykov), a former Soviet spy turned sex trafficker with powerful friends in the upper echelons of Swedish government. Lisbeth seriously wounded, but didn't kill, Zalachenko with an axe.

As Blomkvist tries to find proof of a government conspiracy that sent Salander to a psychiatric hospital when she was 12 to cover up Zalachenko's existence, those in power try to have Lisbeth put away for good or, killed. They also want to stop Blomkvist and his team of journalists. Too many movers and shakers would be harmed if proof ever leaked of their trafficking in girls. Blomkvist has to find the evidence as Lisbeth is put on trial for attempted murder.

Meanwhile, the homicidal Niedermann (Micke Spreitz), Salander's half-brother, is on a killing spree.

Rapace continues her excellent performance. In the hospital cell, sans the usual swaddling of punk, black clothing, chains and spikes draped and impossibly high platform boots, Rapace shows Lisbeth's vulnerability and intelligence. But Rapace delivers Lisbeth's fierceness and her rage when she puts on that punk armor for the courtroom scenes. Lisbeth is in high Dragon girl mode, ready to do battle against evil. Once again, she's a solider fighting against men who harm women and this is her uniform.

Larsson had planned The Girl With as a series of 10 novels. Meanwhile, we'll have to settle for the three brilliant novels and the movies that capture their spirit.

I'm trying to ignore the fact that these movies will be refilmed with Hollywood actors.

As for the novels, they continue to have a life of their own. On November 26, Knopf will publish a boxed set of Larsson's three hardover novels and a nonfiction book called On Stieg Larsson that is a new volumne of correspondence with the author and essays about his work.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest: Rated R; Run time 148 minutes. In Swedish with English subtitles.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010 10:54
Note: This is the first of a series of features on mystery bookstores.
Halloween will be all treat and no trick for the owners and customers of the Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont, Pennsylvania.
On Sunday, Oct., 31, the bookstore celebrates its 20th anniversary as western Pennsylvania’s center for crime and mystery fiction.
altThe business plan for Mystery Lovers Bookshop came to owners Mary Alice Gorman and Richard Goldman, who have been married more than 25 years, in a hospital room. Gorman was hospitalized for 10 days with a lung infection. At night, the couple would sit "staring at the helicopters outside" and talk about their future. They knew they wanted to have a business together and since both were -- and are -- avid readers a bookstore was the logical idea. At the time, there was only one chain bookstore in the
Pittsburgh area and Amazon was just a river. The couple did a bit of research to learn that 17% to 22% of books sold were mysteries, which just happened to be their favorite kind of reading.
"Richard calls it the 'blinding glimpse of the obvious' that we settled on a mystery bookstore," said Gorman in a recent telephone interview. "It was like a lightbulb because that is what the two of us read. We've always read a lot of the same authors."
So Gorman made a list of the mystery writers who were published and compared that list to the books available in area bookstores. She found a huge "gap" in what was published and what was available on the book shelves.
"The gap was where we needed to put our efforts," said Gorman. "Bookstores are magnets for us. We always search for them in whatever town we are in."
Mystery Lovers Bookshop opened on Halloween, 1990, becoming Pittsburgh area’s first mystery specialty bookstore. Mystery Lovers Bookshop opened the first area café in a bookstore in 1992.
It was the right move for Gorman, former Executive Director of The Allegheny County Center for Victims of Violent Crime, and Richard Goldman, a Mellon Bank executive.
Mystery Lovers Bookshop has since grown to be the third largest in the country. Its annual Festival of Mystery is the largest one-day festival in the country and will be in its 17th year in 2011. The Bookshop sponsors 8 book clubs and has a huge Internet presence that accounts for about 25 to 30 percent of its sales, attracting thousands of shoppers from Maine to California. The store's Coffee & Crime author breakfasts have brought hundreds of authors to Oakmont during the past 17 years.
And the Mystery Writers of America recognized Mystery Lovers Bookshop with the 2010 Raven Award. Established in 1953, the award is bestowed by MWA's Board of Directors for outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative
writing.
Despite the store's success, the couple considered closing the Mystery Lovers Bookshop about a decade ago. In one year, "we buried both mothers and married off both sons and at the end of the year we were a wreck. We had no energy," said Gorman.
The couple put the store on the market and then took a month-long cruise to South America. They returned energized and took the store off the market.
"The response of the authors and readers at the Festival of Mystery that year warmed our hearts," said Gorman, the emotion obvious in her voice.
"What we discovered is that we really had created a community, almost a family [of authors and readers]," she said. "Every year the festival moves me and makes me realize that we have a far-flung community of folks who come [from many states]. We have more than 40 writers who say they can't wait. We give no awards; there are no speeches. It's just all fun and ends with pizza and beer."
Winning the Raven Award was one of the couple's proudest moments, said Gorman. "Being in that room [during the Edgars] with all those friends we had made through the years and the friends we had never met was special," she said. "We've broken in alot a
people who were not selling in the beginning so people stick with us," she added, naming a few authors the store has championed since their first novels.
Many of those authors who have visited the store are immortalized on the store's bathroom walls, a tradition the couple started about 6 years ago. The restroom is painted to resemble a prison cell and authors are encouraged to leave their autographs on the walls.
But more important than the Raven is the legacy that the Mystery Lovers Bookshop has brought to readers. Gorman said the store is constantly getting notes from customers from throughout the country thanking them, some of which she posts on the
store's Facebook page.
"I can't tell you how much these notes mean to us," she added. "We have relationships with our customers. We do not say something is out of print. We find it. And our staff handsells online. That is why someone will take the time to sit down and write us. I know it's not because we send peppermints in every order. Though we have gotten notes from people saying we forgot the peppermints."
The past 20 years have gone by quickly for the couple, but some things remain constant.
"People want to read and they want to read mysteries. August is one of our biggest months as people are choosing what to take on vacation. I had a customer who was going through a difficult pregnancy. The doctor prescribed Rex Stout. Mysteries are
magical. We sell to readers, not collectors," she said.
"And we're having fun," she added.
Mystery Lovers Bookshop's 20th anniversary celebration will be from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31. Pittsburgh mystery writers, story telling, treats and surprises will be on featured. Owners Mary Alice Gorman and Richard Goldman "might" wear a costume for the first time. Proceeds from a 10-cent book sale will go to a local library.
Photo: Mary Alice Gorman and Richard Goldman
Mystery Lovers Bookshop
Oline Cogdill
mystery-lovers-bookshop
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Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont, Penn. celebrates 30 years.
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